— The Rendezvous

27 Мар 2014 | Author: | No comments yet »
Bayliner 2350

The Rendezvous

This is the story of how the the Bayliner Rendezvous came into our lives.

I had already been involved in a boat-building project, an 18′ houseboat for which I knew I would eventually need a motor. I did not really want to invest in a new motor for what had otherwise been a fairly low buget project, so I started thinking of ways to get a low-dollar motor.

The idea came to me that there might be a boat out there with a suitable motor that I could buy as a whole, enjoy the boat and motor while I finished the houseboat, and then eventually put the motor on the houseboat and sell (or just trash) the boat.

I started out looking around on eBay. There were lots of likely candidates. Then, the watershed event: I mentioned the idea to the love of my life. Great! she said. Let’s get a boat in the water, and worry about your boat when (and if) it’s finished.

OK. I showed her some of what I had been looking at — 15-20′ boats with 50 or so HP motors. We also found this 26′ Rendezvous, and focus shifted in a big way. Now, we needed a boat. We needed this boat. In July of 2006 we bid and won a 26′ Bayliner Rendezvous on eBay. From a seller I can only charactarize as unconcerned about his customers. This is a fellow who should be very happy that no legal action has been brought against him, so far. Actually, I would bet that he is dealing with legal action. brought by other people.

The boat was in a garage/warehouse in Pompano Beach, it did not come with a trailer. We started making plans to bring it home to Tennessee. Basically we had three options. Two involved buying a trailer: We could buy one and go get it, or buy one and pay someone to drive it up. The third was to have it put on a truck and hauled up. With the third option, the hauler would need to be able to take the boat directly to the marina and have them put it in the water.

Inquiries to the seller gave us to believe this boat was ready to be dropped in the water. He (and I am doing him a favor here by not mentioning his name) said so specifically in response to a direct question. This turned out to be far from the truth. By way of example, all three drain plugs were absent. Other niceties such as (working) bilge pumps were similarly absent. Of course, we did not know any of this then, but we decided it would be prudent not to take him at his word, and crossed option three off the list. We also balked at the cost (at least $900) when we figured we would eventually want a trailer, anyway. As it turned out, I think most boat haulers would have taken one look and walked away.


I started looking at trailers. I hoped to be able to find a used trailer and have it modified for our boat. This proved to be difficult, especially with the boat so far away. The Rendezvous’ catamaran hull required a specific bunk set-up, and no one I talked to was interested in making such modifications. I am confident that if I had the boat here, I could have done it myself, but that was not the situation, and we could not spend days in Florida building a trailer.

Shortly after the auction, I received an email from a gentleman in Georgia who had just had a trailer built for his Rendezvous. He provided a copy of his invoice and suggested that we could probably get the same price. Because of the way he swooped in immediately after the auction, I was a little suspicious of his motives. But, I decided to give him a call. He said he was very happy with his trailer, and seemed genuine, saying he had just happened across the auction. After some more shopping, I could not find a better price. Long story short, I ordered one myself.

It came from Rocket International Trailers in Ft. Myers. They delivered what they promised, when they promised. It is a first rate trailer. We drove down and picked it up, then shot across Alligator Alley to Pompano.

The next morning, as had been arranged days in advance, we arrived at the warehouse at 9:00 AM. The owner was not there. He showed up about ten, after a couple of calls to his wireless phone. That gave us some time to survey the situation. It looked rough.

The boat was in a warehouse full of exotic (and some not so exotic) cars in various stages of disassembly. It was clear that most of them had not been touched in some time. The spaces between the cars were filled with tools, car parts and junk. Mostly junk. It was a typical summer day in south Florida, i.e. 95 and humid, so it was good and hot in this warehouse. With no ventilation to speak of, it promised to be an ordeal.

Bayliner Rendezvous

The boat itself was on four towers made up of sections of 2×4’s that had been nailed together.We had been told that there would be employees available to help get the boat on the trailer. This was a bit of an exaggeration. When the owner showed up, he shanghaied a mechanic with a British accent (maybe South Africa, New Zealand, Australia, I’m not sure) who had been working on a junky little car. The two of them then proceeded to terrify us with their hare-brained schemes for getting the boat on the trailer. The owner in particular had little regard for his own safety, let alone that of his mechanic or the boat. There were a couple of moments when their jury rigged lifting systems slipped and the 3300 pound boat lurched alarmingly.

Happily, he had other places to be, and I did not complain when he made this announcement. He left, the Brit drifted back to his clunker, and I set about doing the work feeling much better about the liklihood of getting it done without damaging the boat or hurting someone. Using an old air lift, I jacked up each corner of the boat in turn, pulled out the tower and pried off a layer or two of the 2×4’s. Then, I pushed the tower back under the boat, lowered it down and moved on to the next corner. Thankfully, I found a couple of big fans, which I positioned at each end of the boat. I’m not sure I could have managed without them.

Three or four people (one of whom looked, sounded and acted like a Russian gangster) with connections to the owner that were never clear to me drifted in and out of the warehouse, self-importantly involving themselves in the project without contributing much more than an annoying distraction. When it became clear that this was actual work, and that their brilliant ideas (which mostly involved equipment that was not available) were not going to bring the job to an immediate and miraculous conclusion, they also lost interest, leaving me to plod along.

Eventually, it was near trailer height, so I pushed the front towers back to the middle and backed the trailer up to the bow. When the bow was resting lightly on the trailer I used the winch to pull the trailer (and truck, in neutral) back to the middle supports, which I removed, and then winched the trailer back to the towers under the stern.

I grabbed a couple of floor jacks I had pushed out of the way earlier, and put one under the aft end of each hull, replacing the two towers there. A little more winding on the winch got the boat a little futher forward, thanks to the floor jacks’ wheels, and it was more or less on the trailer. It was not as far forward as it should have been, but with the full weight of the boat plus motor on the bunks the winch was not going to move it any further. It was just about 5:00 PM.

I had noticed that the prop was not on the motor, so I called the owner. He said he would be there in 20 minutes. Right. I rounded up the cowel for the outboard, a marine battery and a portable Tempo gas tank that were nearby, struck the Bimini top, pulled the boat outside and waited. After another hour, he showed up, found the prop and I said good-bye, taking the boat back to the house of a friend who was putting us up. I was caked in dust and sweat, and think the shower that followed may have been the most welcome one of my life.

The next day, we made the rounds of a few marinas looking for someone who would reposition the boat on the trailer. No dice. They were just not interested, at any price, it being a Sunday. What a difference in attitude to the marina folk we have dealt with in Tennessee. So, we took the the boat to a local ramp, backed it down enough to float it off the trailer, moved the bow-stop forward and hauled it back out, letting the water that had got in where the drain plugs were supposed to be drain back out. This was what we should have done from the git — for the $5.00 ramp fee, it was ready for the road.

The rest was refreshingly anticlimatic. We pulled the boat home with a truck generously loaned by a friend, taking it directly to our marina. I had never hauled a boat this long or heavy before, but we had no problems. There was still some work to be done, and we set about that. The boat needed a rub rail, the motor needed a once over and controls for the motor needed to be installed, along with other smaller repairs. Most of this work was handled by Tim George of (865 705 9949) in Knoxville. He did a great job and I recommend him highly to anyone with a boat that needs work. The 115 HP Yahama, which had been a bit of a wild card, turned out to be fine and was revived by the good people at Fox Road Marina who have provided all kinds of help and advice. We have had the boat out several times now (October 2006) and love it.

Bayliner Rendezvous
Bayliner Rendezvous
Bayliner Rendezvous
Bayliner Rendezvous

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